Vail Daily letter: How to prevent drowning
July 19, 2010
As we head into the heart of the summer, it is important to remember about drowning prevention for infants, children and teens. Drowning is the second leading cause of death from injuries among children ages 2-19. As pediatricians we are very concerned about drowning and have several tips to offer to prevent drowning. These include:
1. Touch supervision is necessary for toddlers and constant eye contact for other children.
2. Installing four-sided pool fencing with self-latching and self-closing gates is key.
3. Pool alarms are helpful.
4. Installing pool and spa drain covers is important.
5. Swim lessons are recommended for children over the age of 4 and in certain circumstances over the age of 1.
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6. CPR training is recommended.
7. Children riding in watercraft should always use a personal floatation device and a life jacket.
8. Air-filled swim aids are not personal floatation devices.
9. Only dive into water of known depth.
10. Children should be taught to swim in open bodies of water only when there are lifeguards.
11. Supervising any child with a seizure disorder is especially important.
12. Prohibit alcohol and drug use during swimming and boating activities. There is no greater tragedy than losing a child to a preventable injury like drowning. Following a few simple tips can make for fun water activities with little or no danger of drowning.
Dr. Jeff Brown